As many of you likely know, the Trump administration rescinded the Title IX guidance on protecting trans youth. While this action did not end the protections trans students have under federal law, I'm sure it created fear and uncertainty for your students and their families.
You have probably been watching this new administration make decision after decision that disrespects your students (and maybe yourselves) and seeing the heightened emotions seep into your classroom. As a former educator myself, I remember how difficult it can feel to have to put your feelings on hold while you constantly put your students first. It can be overwhelming, always wanting to stay informed and protect your students, especially when that means making time for the emotionally-charged media and now wading through legal jargon.
We want you to know that GLSEN is here to support you.
Educators can make a difference by ensuring their students and broader school communities know that transgender students are still protected and they still have rights. They are valued. They are loved.
What can you do?
Be Mindful: Your transgender and gender nonconforming (GNC) students need your words of encouragement, support, and focus right now. Talk to your students or GSAs and give them space to voice their feelings.
Share your Values: Last November, GLSEN joined nine national education organizations to announce a national call to action, affirming the rights of all students to attend school in an environment free from fear and violence. Use this resource to call on your administration to affirm their commitment to protecting transgender students.
Educate to Support: Make sure your colleagues, students, and school administration know that Title IX still protects transgender students’ rights to a safe learning environment, free from bullying and harassment.
Stay Informed: Sign up for GLSEN UP to receive information about how you can directly take part in policy and organizing actions that protect transgender and GNC students in your community and across the country.
Use Resources: GLSEN’s trans-supportive policies, lesson plans, and Pronoun Resource can help you create and sustain a positive learning environment that supports transgender and gender nonconforming students.
Get Connected: You are not alone! Reach out in the Educator Forum to connect to other educators across the country who want to hear from other people who are supporting trans and GNC students in schools.
Show Support: Your students, especially your trans and LGB students, may be feeling panicked by the change in the Title IX guidance. Address their concerns and make sure they feel welcome and affirmed. Print this picture to hang in your classroom to show your trans students that they are loved.
Becca Mui is the Education Manager at GLSEN.